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Seddok, l'erede di Satana (Atom Age Vampire)

by Anton Giulio Majano

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Nightclub stripper Jeanette (Susanne Loret) is so upset after her sailor boyfriend Pierre (Sergio Fantoni) breaks up with her that she crashes her car, which leaves her horribly burnt and disfigured on one side of her face. At the same time mad scientist / surgeon Alberto Levin (Alberto Lupo) and his assistant Monique (Franca Parisi) are looking for new patients on which to test Levin’s experimental treatments. Monique tracks Jeanette down at the local hospital and persuades her to come to Levin’s clinic where Levin immediately begins working on her. It looks as if he’s successful with Jeanette’s disfigurement completed healed - but unfortunately effects are temporary. Even more unfortunate: Levin’s formula can only secured from the pituitary glands of young women and to secure a steady supply he’s started injecting himself with drugs and transforming himself into a hideous monster to give him the courage to murder woman for their glands. Meanwhile the police have begun a hunt for the missing Jeanette and when Pierre returns from his voyage he too joins the hunt. Time is running short, however, as Levin is getting increasingly unstable and losing control of his transformations. Although “Seddok, l’erede di Satana” isn’t without the occasional flash of originality, it is a typically Italian rip-off, quickly and cleverly exploiting the concept of the recently successful “Les Yeux Sans Visage” (Eyes Without a Face, 1960) and "Il Mulino Delle Donne Di Pietro" (Mill of the Stone Women). All three films share the same broad plot. Director Anton Giulio Majano quickly and efficiently churned out his film in a matter of weeks and although it does deliver some moody lighting and some decent photography here and there that can’t really get past the tedious pacing, the lack of tension and the messy plotting. The dialogue is unintentionally funny on occasion ("Oh my God! Your case is worse than leprosy" shouts the sensitive Levin on seeing Jeanette) and at times groan inducing, such as when Levin goes all serious and tells Jeanette that he learnt his strange new techniques while working in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s worth noting, however, that the scenes where the mad doctor stalks the local canals looking for victims while wearing a raincoat pulled tightly around his face looks strikingly similar to “Don’t Look Now” (1973) and the raincoated murderer in that film. These scenes also a have touch of the proto-Giallo about them. There’s little worth mentioning in the performances with Franca Parisi, a beautiful Sophia Loren lookalike, probably putting in the best turn. “Seddok, l’erede di Satana” apparently translates as Seddok, the Heir of Satan, so it’s not too clear where the Atom Age Vampire translation comes from. Come to that it’s not clear who Seddok was and why he has the dubious distinction of being Satan’s heir. Overall then this isn’t a great film, but it does have the occasional moments and is probably worth catching for Franca Parisi. ( )
  calum-iain | May 4, 2013 |
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